November-December 2013

Joining the Giving Tree Network

Rob Kepple

TDCAA Executive Director in Austin

At the Annual Criminal and Civil Law Update in September, we announced the launch of our partnership with the Giving Tree Network. You have probably seen the logo and portal on many of the TDCAA website pages, including the front page. It is a great way to support the Foundation—without actually having to write a check!
    Here is how it works. Most online stores offer incentives averaging 6 percent of a sale to websites that direct traffic to their online shopping experiences. It is called “affiliate marketing.” But most of those incentives go un-collected because no one is directing people to particular sites for their online shopping. If the incentives were captured, it would add up to about $254 dollars per person per year. (The average U.S. household will spend $4,500 shopping online this year.)
    We have partnered with a new company that helps nonprofit organizations like our Foundation to capture those incentives. Quite simply, we need to start our shopping though one of the Giving Tree portals on the TDCAA website, or go to to pick the store or stores you want to shop at. The incentive is recorded, collected, and sent to the Foundation.
    Imagine how these incentives could add up for a large membership organization like TDCAA, which today has more than 5,800 members. If you just remember to start your shopping at www.shopTDCAA .com, the Foundation could really benefit.
    Don’t see a store that you would like to have on the site? Go to our homepage at and click on the box at the bottom to send the folks at the Giving Tree Network your suggestions. They are constantly adding stores to the site and would be happy to include your favorite!

Two recent ­benefits
The promise of our Foundation is that training and services for Texas prosecutors will continue to have support even in today’s atmosphere of continually diminishing government funding. The Foundation has been able to support significant trainings and publications, as well as appellate and victim support services. The need will only grow as our profession does.
    The last few months have been a busy one for the Foundation. It paid for the Advanced Appellate Advocacy Course at the Baylor School of Law in Waco in August. In addition, last month every prosecutor and staff  member received a new Quick Penal Code Reference “cheat sheet.” These laminated sheets continue to be in high demand, so it was a great deal for the Foundation to make sure everyone got one.

Texas Prosecutors Society
In 2011 the Foundation Board created the Texas Prosecutors Society with a two-fold purpose: to recognize prosecutors who have demonstrated devotion to the profession, and to plant the seeds of what will someday be a solid endowment for the work of TDCAA. A potential member of the society is asked to make a commitment of $2,500 over 10 years, with 100 percent of the money going directly to the endowment fund. To give you an idea of how such a program can grow, I should note that the Texas Bar Foundation started 45 years ago, and now it funds dozens of legal programs and projects every year.
    As this edition of The Texas Prosecutor goes to press, there are 100 members of the Texas Prosecutors Society. The first 106 members will be designated and honored as the Founding Fellows; the number 106 represents how many years TDCAA had been in existence when the society was established. If you have an invitation to the Texas Prosecutors Society sitting on your desk as you read this, you may get one of the last Founding Fellow spots if you are quick to join!

Make that 101
In September we lost Mike Anderson, the Harris County District Attorney, to cancer. Mike had just begun his service as the elected district attorney, and by all accounts was going to make a fine leader of his office, the Harris County criminal justice community, and our statewide community of prosecutors.
    When I served as an assistant DA in Houston, I had the privilege of having Mike as my court chief. It was a tremendous learning experience for me, and it left no doubt in my mind that Mike was one of the finest prosecutors in Texas.
    So as a matter of personal privilege, I have nominated Mike Anderson for membership in the Texas Prosecutors Society. Thus, he will be honored as a Founding Fellow—along with legendary Harris County DAs Carol Vance and John B. Holmes Jr., by the way.
    But I didn’t do it alone. I am honored that a number of prosecutors and former prosecutors wanted to join in the effort to secure this posthumous honor for our friend and colleague, and we made substantial contributions to the Texas Prosecutors Society endowment in Mike’s honor and memory. Those who participated are listed below. Thank you.

Kari Allen
Jessica Akins
Mike Antonello
Beth Barron
Robin Bartel
Richard Bax
Traci Bennett
David Bernard
Kathy Braddock
Sarah Bruchmiller
Allison Buess
Terese Buess
Mandy Candelaria
Benjamin Cowey
April Cruz
Alan Curry
Masden Davis
Gretchen Flader
Tamekio Flakes
Jack Frels
Esther Gammill
Bert Graham
Lynn Hardaway
Donna Hawkins
Carl Hobbs
Bridget Holloway
Michael Jenkins
Kelli Johnson
Kathy Kahle
Rob Kepple
Julie Klibert
Samantha Knecht
Cheryl Lewandowski
Felipe Martinez
Maria McAnulty
Karen Morris
Juanita Nelson
Denise Oncken
Lynne Parsons
Lisa Porter
Don Rogers
Arlana Schrock
Angela Smith
Natalie Tise
Jane Waters
Katherine Williams
Kaylynn Williford
Roe Wilson
Ted Wilson
Terrance Windham
Woody Woodruff
Gary Zallar